Public campaign launched to safeguard Zagros forests

December 1, 2021 - 17:36

TEHRAN – A public campaign aimed to help national authorities save the endangered valuable Zagros forests was launched across the country on Wednesday.

Nature lovers, city and village councils, NGOs, environmental formations, the Red Crescent Society, as well as local officials from 11 provinces neighboring the forests, are participating in the campaign, ISNA reported.

With the theme of “A Green Iran, Each Iranian One Tree”, the participants will plant seeds of trees endemic to Zagros regions in 74 counties.  

Zagros forests are the most important vegetation area in the country, which is spread over 6 million hectares of the whole 30-million-hectare area of the region.

Climate change, deforestation, over-grazing, land-use changes, drought, pests, and diseases are among the causes of damage to the forests.

Since the Iranian calendar year 1387 (March 2008-March 2009), about 1.45 million hectares of forests have died of pests and diseases.

Zagros forest steppe ecoregion with an area of about 6 million hectares (3.5 percent of Iran) is located primarily in Iran, ranging northwest to southeast and roughly paralleling the country's western border. The forest constitutes 40 percent of the country’s forested area. The forest has also been called western oak forest due to the dominance of oak species. 

According to Science Direct Western, oak forests are home to many species including, the Persian squirrel which is the indicator species of this region. Persian squirrels and oak trees have symbiotic relationships, in which forests provide ecological requirements of Persian squirrels such as food and shelter and, in return, the Persian squirrel contributes to seed germination and forests’ regeneration. 

A wide variety of wildlife, including wolves, leopards, and even the Persian fallow deer which was once thought extinct have made their homes in the mountains.


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